Nintendo 3DS eShop Launches Late May, AT&T Wi-Fi and Netflix Follow Suit

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Nintendo President Satoru Iwata gave his keynote address today at the Game Developers Conference, and of course the focal point of his presentation was the 3DS, Nintendo’s glasses-free 3D portable which is off to a hot start in Japan and is due for North American launch on March 27th.

The tease of a 3D Super Mario game grabbed the spotlight, as well it should coming from Shigeru Miyamoto and the team behind the two Super Mario Galaxy Wii games. But Iwata also talked about three other important 3DS developments.

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First and foremost, a free system update launching the 3DS’s Nintendo eShop is officially scheduled for release “at the end of May.” The eShop is an incredibly important piece of the 3DS puzzle too, as it will implement many of the system’s major online features. Those features include an Internet browser, availability of Nintendo DSiWare software, a transfer solution for porting previously purchased DSiWare games from a DSi/DSi XL to the 3DS, a Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console offering classic downloadable games from the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Gear and TurboGrafx-16, a new “3D Classics” storefront offering select classics remastered in 3D, and a short-form video service providing access to movie and game trailers (among other related media).

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Nintendo has also announced collaborations with AT&T and Netflix to further broaden the 3DS’s online capabilities. With help from AT&T, 3DS owners will be able to take their device online for free at more than 10,000 Wi-Fi Hot Spots stationed at coffee shops, airports, restaurants, and book stores nationwide. And with the system’s SpotPass feature turned on, the connection will be made automatically. These hot spots should be in place by the May eShop launch.

On the Netflix front, subscribers with a $7.99 per month unlimited plan will be able to stream movies and TV shows directly to the 3DS come summertime. Cooler still, the service will be interoperable between the 3DS and Wii. That means you can start watching a video on one platform and then pick up right where you left off on the other platform. Now that’s handy!

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Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!